Friday! Video games! Let’s talk!
I’ve been cutting it close the last few Fridays since it just happens to be the day I’ve been running errands and doing unfun adult stuff. But, alas, here we are. The elusive weekend.
After watching most of this year’s AGDQ speedruns, I got super motivated to tackle my Nintendo-related backlog; particularly the Zelda games. Mostly consisting of remasters, I’m working with Twilight Princess and Wind Waker HD on Wii U, Skyward Sword on Wii, Majora’s Mask 3D, Ocarina of Time 3D, A Link Between Worlds, Link’s Awakening DX, Oracle of Ages, and Oracle of Seasons on my 3DS, and I’ve been meaning to replay A Link to the Past on my SNES Classic. After mulling it over, I started off with Twilight Princess HD on the Wii U since it’s the only major Zelda release I’ve yet to play.
I know I’m late to the party here, but aside from the slow burn of its opening hours, I’m mostly enjoying this darker themed Zelda experience. Twilight Princess has Link shifting between the light and shadow realms, the latter of which transforms him into a wolf and changes up his attacks a bit. I like the more traditional bits quite a bit more than I do the awkward Wolf Link stuff, though. Wolf Link’s attacks feel a bit too erratic, and I’m not a big fan of the “hold B to kill everything” attack it relies heavily upon to clear rooms full of shadow dudes. I’m only 11 hours in, so I’d guess I’m at the halfway point, and thus far every Wolf Link section is an unremarkable affair that typically has me using his “wolf scent” to track down glowy insects in order to restore light to the realm, transform back to Dude Link, and tackle a traditional dungeon (complete with puzzles, magical weapons, and boss fights).
So far it’s shaping up to be my least favorite 3D Zelda, but even the worst Zelda is a good game. There are definitely things I love about it, like the tragic story of the Hero’s Shade that teaches Link new abilities. Granted, you’d have to read the Hyrule Historia to get the full story, but the Hero’s Shade is actually the Hero of Time from Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask; lamenting over having been forgotten by the people he risked his life to save and then dying before passing his skills along to his descendant. It’s weird to think of Link (the Shade version) having a voice and any form of emotional struggles, but it adds some depth the story that’s there if you’re willing to read into it.
I’m hoping to continue my adventure in Twilight Princess HD over the weekend. I have Wind Waker HD on deck, which I can’t wait to play now. Wind Waker is one of my favorite Zelda games and I never got around to its remaster on Wii U, despite purchasing it at launch. I know, I’m a terrible person.
Aside from Twilight Princess, I’m also chipping away at The Witcher: Enhanced Edition on PC. I picked up the first book in The Witcher’s novel series, The Last Wish, last summer and I’ve been meaning to play through the trilogy of games ever since. The graphics haven’t aged very well, as expected without mods, but the writing is superb. I’m somewhere in chapter two, playing Geralt the Detective, and I’m a bit overwhelmed by its bombardment of side-quests that aren’t separated from the main quest in the quest log (or I just haven’t figured out *how* they are). There’s a lot of running back and forth, waiting for the right time of day, and I got a bit tired of doing that so I’ve mostly been playing Twilight Princess. Still, I’m determined to finish it off. It’s not as if I’m bored.
As for progress updates, I’ve decided to shelve Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for now. It’s not doing anything for me and I pretty much loathe everything but the soundtrack, but I’d like to give it another go down the line and see how it takes. Sometimes I’m just not in the right state of mind for a game. I’d also really like to finish Final Fantasy XIII, but I left off in the middle of the open-world chapter when the fall semester started, dumped 115 hours into Persona 5, and now I don’t know what’s going on. I did love the game (yes, love) and I definitely want to continue on with XIII-2 and Lightning Returns, but I may have to YouTube the last few chapters and read a nice recap instead of struggling through it on my own.
My girlfriend and I subscribed to EA Origin Access because she really wanted to play through Dragon Age: Origins again and they have all three games (along with the Mass Effect trilogy and its accompanied DLC) included as part of the subscription. However, the app is complete garbage, their customer support is equally useless, and every game either failed to download, failed to install, or gave us errors when we tried to launch them on her laptop and my desktop. I dug through pages of support forms on their website, none of which were answered by EA reps, and we couldn’t get anything to work at all. Apparently, the games just don’t work well with the recent Windows 10 update and its C++ redistributable file. They require the 2010 version. Yay.
What about you, folks? Got any gaming plans this weekend?